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Aussies turn down expulsion appeals

The Australian government will not reconsider its decision to bar two Olympic officials from entering the country for the Sydney Games.

"The paramount consideration is for safety and the security of the Australian community," Prime Minister John Howard said Friday. "It's quite consistent with the letter of the understanding concluded when Sydney won the bid a few years ago. That's the end of the matter."

Australian immigration officials cited "serious issues of character" in denying entry to the two officials, one accused of ties to organized crime in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan.

The International Olympic Committee said the action violated agreements on the entry of accredited personnel for the Olympics.

IOC vice president Dick Pound confirmed that one official was Gafur Rakhimov of Uzbekistan, a senior executive of the International Amateur Boxing Association, vice president of the Uzbek Boxing Federation and vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia. In a recent book that quotes FBI and Russian police files, Rakhimov is described as an organized crime boss in Uzbekistan.

A Radio Hong Kong report identified the other official as Carl Ching, president of the Asian Basketball Confederation.

BASEBALL: The U.S. team beat Australia 3-1, led by Houston Astros prospect Roy Oswalt, who pitched four shutout innings while striking out seven. Pitchers Matt White of the Devil Rays, Tim Young and Shane Heams combined to limit Australia to one run over 4 innings.

DRUGS: A White House financed report criticizes the International Olympic Committee for not doing enough to fight drug use. The study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University recommends creating an international organization, independent of the IOC, that would be responsible for drug testing and banning substances. Robin Lyons, 23, a Canadian hammer thrower dropped from the Olympic team after testing positive for steroids, lost her appeal. The Canadian Equestrian Federation said Eric Lamaze was barred from the team after testing positive for cocaine.

FLORIDA DOWN UNDER: The Florida World Pavilion, open in Sydney through Oct. 8 to coincide with the Olympics, will feature exhibits to help expand tourism and trade. The 6,400-square-foot pavilion, staffed by 40 volunteers from Florida colleges, includes exhibits on the Seminole Indians, a virtual airboat ride and a NASA presentation.

SAILING: Russell Coutts, who skippered New Zealand to America's Cup dominance, signed on to coach the U.S. Olympic team of Jeff Madrigali, Craig Healy and Hartwell Jordan. Coutts won a gold medal in the Finn class in 1984.

SOFTBALL: The U.S. team wound up its exhibition schedule with an 11-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific University, the team's 110th consecutive win.

TRACK AND FIELD: Alvin Harrison, fourth-place finisher at the 1996 Olympics, won the 400 at the Brisbane 2000 International meet in 44.18 seconds, the fastest run in Australia. Harrison's twin brother, Calvin, finished second in 44.64.

PULLING OUT: Regina Jacobs, 37, considered a top medal contender in the women's 1,500 meters, withdrew because of a respiratory infection. At the U.S. trials, Jacobs won the 1,500 and set the U.S. record in the 5,000 meters. Shayne Culpepper, the fourth-place finisher at the trials, was expected to replace her. Germany's Grit Breuer, the world indoor 400-meter champion, pulled out because injury and the prospect of a back operation. Sebastien Grosjean of France, ranked 28th in the world, pulled out of the tennis tournament because of an unspecified injury.

SOFTBALL: The U.S. team wound up its exhibition schedule with an 11-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific University, the team's 110th consecutive win.

Team USA plays Canada on Sept. 16.

TRACK AND FIELD: Alvin Harrison, fourth-place finisher at the 1996 Olympics, won the 400 at the Brisbane 2000 International meet in 44.18 seconds, the fastest run in Australia. Harrison's twin brother, Calvin, finished second in 44.64. Long jumpers Savante Stringfellow and Melvin Lister also finished 1-2.

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